Author Archives: Kate Coffey

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In the past two years, my work in Nepal has expanded to the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation and the Spinal Cord Injured Network Nepal. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in the north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.

The craziness of monsoon, Nepal

I’ve alluded in earlier posts about the challenges the people of Nepal (and many other counties in SE Asia) face during monsoon time.  This year’s monsoon has killed over 50 people in Nepal, and there is another two months to … Continue reading

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The latest from SCI Hostel, Jorpati

Thanks to Keshav who keeps me up to date on all the goings on at the SCI Hostel these days.  When I look at how busy the kids are, not only at school but also with sports and outings, I … Continue reading

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School’s back! In Nepal at least

It’s been two months since the Remarkable Year in Sri Lanka fundraiser raised C$5,000 to benefit children with spinal cord injuries (SCI) in Nepal.  A mix of countries I know but the story I had to tell was about my time … Continue reading

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Happy Nepali New Year!

Bisket Jatra is the annual celebration of two of the most important deities of the town of Bhaktapur, the wrathful god Bhairab and the goddess Bhadrakali. The New Year of the Bikram Sambat calendar takes place at the same time … Continue reading

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Thank You for a Remarkable Evening

Last night, just under 60 Bowen Islanders turned up at the Annex to hear the story of my year in Sri Lanka, devour some delicious food and donate generously to the SCI Practice Home in Kathmandu, Nepal, raising over $4,500, … Continue reading

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A Remarkable Year in Sri Lanka

Last year, I found myself unexpectedly in Sri Lanka, working with the Tamil community helping small family-run businesses grow and prosper in a country ravaged by a decades-long civil war. As is so often the case, the experience left me … Continue reading

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2017 – a year that was

Here I am on a snowy, icy Bowen Island, taking stock of the last 12 months and fully appreciating how charmed my life has been in 2017. Besides calling Canada home for 20 years now, I spent much of the … Continue reading

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